Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s Washington DC. But I get many competent professional (and gorgeous) single women in my office trying to navigate and succeed at the dating game. I must say, I am glad to not be in their shoes. It’s a jungle out there.

When asked, or when I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer, I tell them the #1 quality they need look for in a partner – willingness.

Willingness to do what?

A willingness to show up. To own my shit. To work my shit. A willingness to take responsibility for the part I contributed to the failure of my prior relationships. A willingness to “roll up my sleeves” when the relationship gets difficult. A willingness to be generous when being nasty would be more fun and temporarily satisfying. A willingness to not always have things go my way. A willingness to temper my ego and swallow humble pie. A willingness to stretch and grow beyond my comfort zone.

Last night, I witnessed such willingness. On my green couch sat a distressed couple. She tearfully reported yet another incident when her husband failed to show-up for her emotionally. Trying to budge her off her well-weathered victim dime, I questioned if she had asked him for what she needed.

“I no longer consider him to be my go-to person,” she said, understandably protecting herself while justifying her victimhood.

I reminded her that we are working to create a new and different marriage.

I then encouraged her to ask him (admittedly, I was fearful as to how he’d answer) … is he available to be her go-to person?

She bravely took the risk. Right there in my office. Right there on my green couch.

She turned to him and asked, “Are you willing to be my go-to person?”

Without hesitation, he looked at her and said, “I am. I just don’t know how.”

Wow. Silence. A golden moment. It, he, was priceless.

Give me willingness and a secure, sustainable partnership make.

Go find it, ladies … and gentlemen. And more importantly, be it.